Posted by rightback on April 4th, 2009
Solving time: 7:55
The 9 thematic answers (starred below) were all historical figures with whom the epithet ‘Great’ is associated. No Alexander, but there are some famous examples such as Alfred, Catherine and Peter, together with a few that I hadn’t come across before.
I had a very slow start on this, mainly I think because the first five across clues were all thematic (and so lacked a definition), but solved 17ac fairly early and it fell out quickly after that. The top right was the hardest corner for me but overall this was probably easier than an average Saturday prize puzzle.
Music of the Day: Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 (The Great).
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|* 10||THE + O + DORIC – I didn’t know the name Theodoric the Great but the wordplay was helpful.|
|* 11||CAT + H(ERIN)E|
|* 12||LE(W)IS – I think this might refer to The Great Lewis, Oliver Cromwell’s ship. [No – see comments below.]|
|* 13||CHARLES; C.H. (= ‘central heating’) + ARLES – I didn’t think I knew anything about Arles but a little research tells me that it was the setting for some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings such as Starry Night Over The Rhone and Café Terrace At Night.|
|15||TIE CLIP; “TYKE LIP” – nice homophone.|
|17||G(RE)AT – a ‘Gat’ is a Gatling Gun, but now short for any revolver, rifle or similar weapon. Solving this clue instantly unlocked the theme so I’m surprised it was so straightforward.|
|18||NOW; NO W[est] – ‘new’ (north, east, west) was a trap here for the unwary.|
|25||O.C. + TO BE + R[emoved] – the October Revolution of 1917.|
|26||OFFAL; “AWFUL” – the ‘to some?’ here excuses the homophone; maybe the Queen would pronounce these words similarly?|
|27||GERIATRIC; (GIRL I CATER – L)*|
|30||OVERSTUFF; “OVER’S TOUGH” – ‘One’s…’ meaning ‘one [i.e. the solver] has [the answer]…’.|
|* 31||LOUIS; LO + UIS[t] – this is dodgy, Uist is a group of islands (including North Uist and South Uist) but not an island in itself.|
|2||PROTEASE – pronounced ‘pro-tee-aze’. Very nice anagram.|
|3||IDLE (hidden) – not sure why ‘here’ was tacked onto the end of this clue.|
|4||ATKINSON; (IN ON TASK)* – refers to the former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson. If you’ve never studied his special language, known as ‘Ronglish’, I recommend the lessons available here and the quotations here.|
|6||ADULT + E +
|7||CREWEL; “CRUEL” – a worsted yarn used for embroidery and tapestry.|
|13||C + AGED|
|14||LITERALISM; (LIMITS REAL)*|
|19||WOODRUFF; W[ith] + (ODOUR)* + FF – this plant.|
|* 21,24||ALBERTUS MAGNUS; (SUBALTERN’S A MUG)* – obviously a thematic anagram but I needed more or less all the checking letters. Saint Albert the Great in English, this friar and bishop apparently discovered arsenic.|
|* 23||[h]ALF RED|
|26||OBOL; O + rev. of LOB – an old Greek coin.|